The Scottish government has confirmed that tradespeople in Scotland may only operate in other people’s homes as long as the work is deemed as 'essential'. BEIS (Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy) has clarified that its understanding of 'essential', with an emphasis on delivery, installation and repair of key household furniture and appliances, is: “Unless there was some sort of emergency and a bathroom/kitchen was necessary for the health and safety of residents" it would not be covered.
BEIS added that work carried out in people’s homes should be "limited to the provision of essential or permitted goods and services. Essential goods and services are those that fundamentally underpin, sustain and safeguard households." For clarification, this includes:
• Utility engineers and telecoms workers (eg electricity, gas, water, broadband) for the purpose of safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations.
• Urgent repairs and maintenance – time-critical repairs and maintenance that threaten the household's health and safety.
• Delivery, installation and repair of key household furniture and appliances such as washing machine, refrigerator, cooker etc.
• Services in support of a home move.
Responding to the new guidance for tradespeople in Scotland, Damian Walters, chief executive of BiKBBI, said: "Whilst we understand the severity of this pandemic, we are disappointed that Scotland has taken this stance. England and Wales are allowing tradespeople to continue, in accordance with Safe Operating Procedures that we believe are robust.
He added: "What I’m most upset by is the lack of cohesion between the so-called United Kingdom and the disparity between the devolved governments. Their lack of clarity is not only costing lives, but livelihoods."